A sizzling return in last year's one-day international series against England has been credited as the turning point for strike bowler Mitchell Johnson.
The 32-year-old flew back into Perth today before Friday's fourth one-day international against England, fresh from winning the Allan Border Medal to cap off a remarkable three months that produced 37 Ashes wickets in a single series.
The left-arm paceman first showed in the overseas ODI competition that he had regained his pace and menace along with greater control. He also terrorised England's No.3 Jonathan Trott with the ball - a theme that would carry over into the return leg of the Ashes and set the tone for the opposition's dismal series.
"It felt then like everything was coming together, all the hard work I'd done," Johnson said of the series in England.
"The change in my run-up, the lengthening of that during the IPL, that was my first real tournament and I felt good through that tournament, but not quite right.
"Playing at international level again in that one-day series, I definitely felt something and went on from there.
"But all the hard work's still to come. You've got to keep doing it, keep doing it consistently."
Johnson said the reality of winning the medal as Australia's premier cricketer over the past year had still not sunk in.
He thanked wife Jessica and mentor Dennis Lillee for his successful return to Test ranks, saying his next challenge was to prove he could be the team's strike bowler on foreign shores.
Johnson is part of Australia's 15-man squad that will play three Tests in South Africa starting from next month.
"I want to play as many games as I can for Australia and do it well," he said.
"Consistency is the key ... it seems that we've found a way to best use me in all forms of the game and I'm really enjoying that."